Christina Sawyer in the 2020 Hillsdale Invitational

Christina Sawyer ‘21 was selected as the G‑MAC’s nominee for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award. The award is meant to rec­ognize grad­u­ating female student-ath­letes who have dis­tin­guished them­selves in aca­d­emics, ath­letics, service, and lead­ership throughout their col­le­giate careers

This year, 535 ath­letes were sub­mitted by their respective schools from all three NCAA Divi­sions, 107 of whom were Division II athletes.

“Just 152 of those 535 were chosen as con­ference rep­re­sen­ta­tives, including Sawyer, who stood out from the pack for her impressive balance of ath­letic and aca­demic success,” a Hillsdale Ath­letics Press Release said.

After first finding out about her nom­i­nation, Sawyer made sure to give her fellow nominee’s their credit.

“I’m really honored, I know there’s a lot of people that I’ve met in the con­ference, a lot of fellow ath­letes I really respect, and it’s just a great group of very high-quality people com­peting, so I felt very honored to be chosen,” Sawyer said. “I’m just grateful because I’ve had a really good expe­rience running for the G‑MAC the last four years, it was a really great opportunity.”

Sawyer’s resume cer­tainly speaks for itself, as a two-time G‑MAC Champion in track and field, and her class’ salutatorian.

“Sawyer was also a critical part of Hillsdale’s success on the cross country course,” the press release said. “She earned three All-G-MAC honors in cross country, including a first-team honor in 2020 thanks to a seventh-place finish (22:07.4) in the 6,000m cham­pi­onship race, and twice earned All-Midwest Region honors.”

Her list of aca­demic honors goes on as well; the Tecumseh native grad­uated with a 3.99 cumu­lative GPA.

“During her time at Hillsdale, she was named the 2017 – 18 Organic Chem­istry Student of the Year, the 2018 – 19 College Physics Student of the Year, and earned the Sophomore Woman High Achievement Award from the Lamp­lighters orga­ni­zation in 2018 – 19,” the press release said. “She was also a two-time USTFCCCA Aca­demic All-American, and a two-time Hillsdale Pres­i­dent’s Scholar Athlete Award Recipient.”

With her work both in and out of the classroom being honored in this way, Sawyer made sure that the hard work of her fellow ath­letes was rec­og­nized as well.

“I think a lot of people worked really hard, and my team­mates worked really hard and a lot of other women I met in the G‑MAC, so to chosen was a great honor,” Sawyer said. “I don’t nec­es­sarily feel like I worked harder than them, but it’s some­thing I’m very grateful for being rec­og­nized for all that hard work and kind of seeing that come to fruition.”

Sawyer’s head coach in both track & field and cross country during her four years at the college, Andrew Towne, said that she is the perfect person to receive the conference’s nomination.

“Cer­tainly when you have somebody that is that caliber of a student, that caliber of an athlete, and just her dis­ci­pline as a person, I think that’s just the type of person that you want to be a role model for all of your ath­letes,” Towne said.